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  • December 18, 2014
  • 08:51 AM
  • 0 views

Happy Holidays: Gifts for the Deceased in Anglo-Saxon England

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

The holiday season is upon us, and that means that many of us are thinking about gifts. As I’ve been wrapping the presents I’ve bought for my family, I’ve been […]... Read more »

  • December 18, 2014
  • 05:08 AM
  • 9 views

Autistic traits in adults with epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Increased autistic characteristics found in adults with epilepsy without an ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis suggest that epilepsy syndromes may incorporate behavioral aspects of autism in the absence of some of its core cognitive features."Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.That was the intriguing finding reported by Sally Ann Wakeford and colleagues [1] who examined test performance on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and "systemizing ........ Read more »

Wakeford S, Hinvest N, Ring H, & Brosnan M. (2014) Autistic characteristics in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy , 203-207. PMID: 25461216  

  • December 18, 2014
  • 02:44 AM
  • 8 views

Correcting Metabolic Abnormalities May Help Lessen Urinary Problems

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Health Sciences

Metabolic syndrome is linked with an increased frequency and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms, but weight loss surgery may lessen these symptoms. The findings, which come from two studies published in BJU International, indicate that urinary problems may be added to the list of issues that can improve with efforts that address altered metabolism.

Lower urinary tract symptoms related to urinary frequency and urgency, bladder leakage, the need to urinate at night, and incomplete bladder........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 02:54 PM
  • 23 views

Epigenetic changes and autism

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite what you may think, the supposed “explosion” of children diagnosed with autism can directly attributed to better diagnosing techniques and — more importantly — the change of definition to make Autism spectrum disorders more broad. Thankfully more causes of autism have been found, none of them remotely related to vaccines and now scientists have found that chemical modifications to DNA’s packaging—known as epigenetic changes—can activate or repress genes involved in autism s........ Read more »

Gao, Z., Lee, P., Stafford, J., von Schimmelmann, M., Schaefer, A., & Reinberg, D. (2014) An AUTS2–Polycomb complex activates gene expression in the CNS. Nature, 516(7531), 349-354. DOI: 10.1038/nature13921  

Ntziachristos, P., Tsirigos, A., Welstead, G., Trimarchi, T., Bakogianni, S., Xu, L., Loizou, E., Holmfeldt, L., Strikoudis, A., King, B.... (2014) Contrasting roles of histone 3 lysine 27 demethylases in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature, 514(7523), 513-517. DOI: 10.1038/nature13605  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 02:04 PM
  • 18 views

Google Translate not yet ready for medical communications

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: frauczepluch.blogspot.com Communications is key in any relationship, particularly that between patients and doctors.  So what happens when the two parties don’t speak the same...... Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 36 views

Video Tip of the Week: yEd Graph Editor for visualizing pathways and networks

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s video tip of the week closes out a series that began last month. I started to explore one gene co-expression tool, which led me to another tool for visualization, and so on. This week’s tool is the final piece that you need to know about if you want to create the kind of […]... Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 29 views

Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the solution?A new paper by Laur........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 38 views

Christmas Greenery - Friend Or Foe?

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Your Christmas tree can kill you, but it can also save your life. The same holds true for mistletoe, ivy, and holly. Each is toxic, but each has uses in medicine. The least toxic Christmas plant is the most often thought of as poisonous – poinsettias really aren’t that bad, kids would have to eat 500 leaves to bring on the nastiest effects.... Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 07:11 AM
  • 26 views

Humpback Whales Sing For Their Supper

by beredim in Strange Animals

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are known to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate with each other still remain a mystery.

A new study by Susan Parks, assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with a consortium of other researchers examined the importance of specific auditory cues that these whales emit... Read more »

Parks SE, Cusano DA, Stimpert AK, Weinrich MT, Friedlaender AS, & Wiley DN. (2014) Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales. Scientific reports, 7508. PMID: 25512188  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 23 views

Folate receptor autoantibodies and (some) schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I am the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom.Upon reading the paper published by Ramaekers and colleagues [1] talking about the use of folinic acid in cases of schizophrenia as a function of the presence of "Auto-antibodies against folate receptor alpha (FRα)", I raised a little smile. Not only because the authors suggested that there may be quite a lot more to see in this area on top of some already interesting discussions about the folate cycle and schizophrenia, but also because of the ........ Read more »

Ramaekers VT, Thöny B, Sequeira JM, Ansseau M, Philippe P, Boemer F, Bours V, & Quadros EV. (2014) Folinic acid treatment for schizophrenia associated with folate receptor autoantibodies. Molecular genetics and metabolism. PMID: 25456743  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 24 views

Some More Education on Exertional Heat Stroke Could go a Long Way

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

While multiple certifications exist for strength and conditioning coaches, both the CSCS and SCCC do not adequately prepare coaches to recognize or prevent exertional heat stroke during high-intensity training sessions.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2014
  • 04:29 PM
  • 34 views

Rift Valley Fever Virus and Autophagy: MyD88 and DRAM-1

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Upon viral entry and release of the viral genome, viral RNA and DNA can be recognised by Toll-like Receptors (TLR), which once stimulated induce the expression of specific genes such as Interferon that are part of the antiviral response. TLR mediated signalling pathways predominantly signal through interferon regulatory factors (IRF) as well as Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) and AP-1, eliciting the induction of the Interferon type-1 response and the expression of inflammatory cytokines as........ Read more »

Moy, R., Gold, B., Molleston, J., Schad, V., Yanger, K., Salzano, M., Yagi, Y., Fitzgerald, K., Stanger, B., Soldan, S.... (2014) Antiviral Autophagy Restricts Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection and Is Conserved from Flies to Mammals. Immunity, 40(1), 51-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.10.020  

Shi CS, & Kehrl JH. (2008) MyD88 and Trif target Beclin 1 to trigger autophagy in macrophages. The Journal of biological chemistry, 283(48), 33175-82. PMID: 18772134  

Mah LY, O'Prey J, Baudot AD, Hoekstra A, & Ryan KM. (2012) DRAM-1 encodes multiple isoforms that regulate autophagy. Autophagy, 8(1), 18-28. PMID: 22082963  

Wang RC, Wei Y, An Z, Zou Z, Xiao G, Bhagat G, White M, Reichelt J, & Levine B. (2012) Akt-mediated regulation of autophagy and tumorigenesis through Beclin 1 phosphorylation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 338(6109), 956-9. PMID: 23112296  

Narayanan A, Amaya M, Voss K, Chung M, Benedict A, Sampey G, Kehn-Hall K, Luchini A, Liotta L, Bailey C.... (2014) Reactive oxygen species activate NFκB (p65) and p53 and induce apoptosis in RVFV infected liver cells. Virology, 270-86. PMID: 24418562  

Liang Q, Chang B, Brulois KF, Castro K, Min CK, Rodgers MA, Shi M, Ge J, Feng P, Oh BH.... (2013) Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K7 modulates Rubicon-mediated inhibition of autophagosome maturation. Journal of virology, 87(22), 12499-503. PMID: 24027317  

Mukhopadhyay S, Panda PK, Sinha N, Das DN, & Bhutia SK. (2014) Autophagy and apoptosis: where do they meet?. Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death, 19(4), 555-66. PMID: 24415198  

Liang C, Oh BH, & Jung JU. (2014) Novel functions of viral anti-apoptotic factors. Nature reviews. Microbiology. PMID: 25363821  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 02:37 PM
  • 35 views

Methamphetamine use and the onset of parkinson’s

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We’ve all seen the PSA’s trying to show the effects of meth use and in particular, what it does to your teeth. Typically, when it comes to drug use, people will not look at the long term side effects from their addiction instead thinking in the short term. This is unfortunate because as it turns out, methamphetamine users are three times more at risk for getting Parkinson’s disease than non-illicit drug users with even worse news for women, new research shows.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 47 views

Giving, Getting, and Grey Matter

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

It’s time to search out Christmas gifts! Let brain research guide you in your giving. We now know why women are often better at picking out gifts, and we know that you expect people to like your homemade gifts more than you should. We have learned that we give gifts to make ourselves feel good, and that too many gifts can screw your kids up for life. But most importantly, it actually is the thought that counts! Merry Christmas.... Read more »

Moll, J., Krueger, F., Zahn, R., Pardini, M., de Oliveira-Souza, R., & Grafman, J. (2006) Human fronto-mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(42), 15623-15628. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0604475103  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 51 views

The scientific community’s Galileo affair (you’re the Pope)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Science is in crisis. Everyone in the scientific community knows about it but few want to talk about it. The crisis is one of honesty. A junior scientist (like me) asks himself a similar question to Galileo in 1633: how much honesty is desirable in science? Science Wonderland According to nearly all empirical scientific publications […]... Read more »

  • December 16, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 56 views

Thioredoxin... a new 'diagnosis indicator' for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

My name's Buttercup. You've met Baron von Shush."Our study demonstrated that serum TRX [thioredoxin] levels were associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and elevated levels could be considered as a novel, independent diagnosis indicator of ASD." So was the conclusion reported by Qing-biao Zhang and colleagues [1] looking at serum levels of TRX in 80 children diagnosed with an ASD compared against "100 sex and age matched typically developing children".I'll freely admi........ Read more »

Zhang QB, Gao SJ, & Zhao HX. (2014) Thioredoxin: A novel, independent diagnosis marker in children with autism. International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience. PMID: 25433158  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 03:07 PM
  • 63 views

Finding the neurons that deal with distraction

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

What’s that over there!? The next time you are around people, count how many people are on their phone? Distractions invade every aspect of our lives. Status updates, text messages, email notifications all threaten to steal our attention away from the moment. While we fight the urge to check the phone, our brains are making constant judgment calls about where to focus attention. The brain must continually filter important information from irrelevant interference.... Read more »

Ahrens, S., Jaramillo, S., Yu, K., Ghosh, S., Hwang, G., Paik, R., Lai, C., He, M., Huang, Z., & Li, B. (2014) ErbB4 regulation of a thalamic reticular nucleus circuit for sensory selection. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3897  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 08:42 AM
  • 68 views

Who is Getting High in Europe (and Where)?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My research training is in psychiatric epidemiology. Alcohol and drug dependence have been two of my topic areas of research.So I found a recent novel study of the epidemiology of illicit drug use in Europe intriguing.Typical methods of looking for the prevalence of drug use in populations are direct diagnostic interviews and studies of emergency room attendees or autopsy cases with medical complications of drug use.However, Christopher Ort from Switzerland along with a host of European col........ Read more »

Ort C, van Nuijs AL, Berset JD, Bijlsma L, Castiglioni S, Covaci A, de Voogt P, Emke E, Fatta-Kassinos D, Griffiths P.... (2014) Spatial differences and temporal changes in illicit drug use in Europe quantified by wastewater analysis. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 109(8), 1338-52. PMID: 24861844  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 75 views

Want to learn something better? Draw it

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When you're trying to learn, do something with your new knowledge, such as summarising it or explaining it to someone else. This deepens your memories and helps integrate what you've learned with what you already knew. A new study has tested the benefits of another beneficial learning activity - drawing.Annett Schmeck and her team asked 48 German school-kids (average age 14) to read a 850-word passage about the biology of influenza, broken down into seven paragraphs. This was an unfamiliar topic........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:15 AM
  • 73 views

Why do friendly people usually lead happier lives?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

High scorers on the personality trait of agreeableness are eager to please, concerned for others, and compliant to other perspectives. On average, they live happier lives too. A new study suggests a possible reason: when they have the chance, friendly people tend to avoid engaging with negative things.The researchers, Konrad Bresin and Michael Robinson, began by asking participants to view a series of positive and negative images, spending as much time as they wanted on each one. Most people lin........ Read more »

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